A spicy vegetarian main dish


  • 1 lb. (about 2 1/2 cups) dried black beans, picked over and rinsed
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 7 ½ cups water
  • 3 ounces (about 6) dried ancho chilies*, stemmed, seeded, and torn into pieces (wear rubber gloves)
  • 28 oz. tomatoes, chopped, not crushed
  • 2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried orégano, crumbled
  • cup chopped fresh coriander, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
  • avocado salsa (recipe follows) as an accompaniment if desired
  • sour cream as an accompaniment if desired


In a large bowl let the beans soak in enough water to cover them by 2 inches for 1 hour and drain them. In a large heavy kettle cook the onions and 4 of the garlic cloves, minced, in the oil over moderate heat, stirring, until the onions are softened, add the cumin, and cook the mixture, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the beans and 6 cups of the water and simmer the mixture, uncovered, adding more water if necessary to keep the beans barely covered, for 1 hour, or until the beans are tender.

While the beans are simmering, in a small saucepan bring the remaining 1 1/2 cups water to a boil, add the chilies, and remove the pan from the heat. Let the mixture stand for 20 minutes and in a blender puree the chilies with the liquid. Add the chili puree, to the bean mixture with the tomato puree, the broth, the bell pepper, the orégano, and salt to taste and simmer the mixture, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Stir in the coriander, the lime juice, and the remaining 2 garlic cloves, minced, and simmer the chili for 5 minutes.

The chili may be frozen or made 4 days in advance, cooled, uncovered, and kept covered and chilled. Serve the chili with the avocado salsa and the sour cream.

Chili, Low Cholesterol, Low Fat, Vegetarian
MacGourmet downloadBlack Bean Ancho Chili. To import, drag image to your MacGourmet recipe box.